JANUARY: Citrus And Fennel Salad

Ingredients:

4 bulbs fennel, sliced and shaved
4 grapefruit, sectioned
4 oranges, sectioned

1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tbsp Purple Chef Orange Marmalade, diced fine
3/4 tbsp olive/veg oil
salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds

Prepare the fennel and citrus fruit as directed. Mix the vinegar, orange juice, Purple Chef Marmalade, olive oil and salt and pepper for dressing. Toss fennel and fruit with dressing, and garnish with chopped fennel fronds.

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FEBRUARY: Thai Kedgeree

This will make a lovely brunch dish or a light supper. I had some extra Tea Smoked Salmon one day and thought this up. It got rave reviews at a luncheon that I gave the other day.

4 stalks of lemon grass, sliced
1 can of coconut milk or lite coconut milk

Place the coconut milk and sliced lemon grass in a cuisinart and puree. Refrigerate overnight so that the lemon grass will infuse the milk. Just before assembling the mixture strain through a sieve and discard the rough lemon grass pieces.

6 cups of cooked Basmati Rice
3 cups of flaked tea smoked salmon ( recipe follows )
4 scallions, chopped
1 cup of frozen peas
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish

1/2 cup of cream

Combine all of the above ingredients and place in a double boiler. Heat through, adding more cream if you want a moister, creamier texture. Serve in a casserole garnished with extra chopped cilantro.

TEA SMOKED SALMON

1/4 cup soy sauce
1.5 T. dry sherry
1 T. kosher salt
4 quarter-sized slices of fresh ginger peeled and crushed
( SAVE THE PEELINGS FOR THE SMOKING )

Combine the above in a glass baking dish.

1.25 – 1.5 lbs of salmon filet

Place the salmon in the baking dish, turn and refrigerate one hour, turning after 30 minutes. Remove from the baking dish and dry on a wire rack

Line a wok with two layers of tin foil leaving several inches over the edge. Line the lid as well.

Combine the following in a small bowl

1 T. dry lemon grass
1/3 cup dry black tea leaves ( smokey variety is best )
1/3 cup in cooked white rice
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick and the ginger peelings

Mix and add to the bottom of the aluminum foil lined wok.

Place a rack in the wok one inch above the mixture and place the salmon on the rack. Set the wok over a high heat. When the sugar starts to bubble in 3 or 4 places, place the lid on top and crimp the edges leaving a one inch wide opening for the smoke. Smoke 10 minutes, turn off and let stand 5 minutes. Uncover and cool.

 

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MARCH: Swiss Chard Tart With Red Onion Confit

This is a wonderful winter tart when you want something green for either brunch or a light appetizer for dinner.

SWISS CHARD TART WITH RED ONION CONFIT

CRUST: 1 1/4 cups of flour, 6 T. cold butter, 2 T. cold Crisco, 1/2 tsp salt, 3-4 T. ice water

Combine flour and salt in cuisinart. Blend in butter until crumbs form. Add Crisco and Blend. Slowly add water 1 T at a time with machine running until it comes together. Remove from machine, form into a flat round.

Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for an hour while you prepare the filling. Have a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom ready.

TART FILLING:

2 cloves or garlic, minced
1/4 of a large onion, chopped.
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
1.75 – 2 lbs of of red swiss chard, washed, stemmed and chopped
1 tbsp Pernod
2 ounces golden raisins, soaked in boiled water to plump, and drained
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts.
6 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup Locatelli Pecorino Romano

Melt butter and oil in a large frying pan. Saute the onion and garlic for a minute until softened. Add the sliced fennel and saute until soft. Add the drained chopped chard and toss until coated. Saute until partially wilted (you still want some volume). Add the Pernod at the last minute and allow the alcohol to cook off.

In a large bowl whisk the eggs, add the rest of the ingredients and lastly the sauteed chard.

Roll out the crust into the 10 inch tart pan . Pour in the filling and smooth out. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 30 minutes or until set.

RED ONION CONFIT:

Melt a little olive oil and butter in a skillet. Slice red onions and saute until wilting. Add a small amount of brown sugar and a little balsamic . Allow to caramelize, stirring often. Serve as a line over the warm tart or on the side.

 

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APRIL: Double Pie Crust

Pie season is almost upon us — time to brush up on our crust-making technique.

Ingredients:

2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp of salt
8 tbsp cold butter, cut in pieces
2 tbsp cold Crisco
4-5 tbsp ice water

Blend flour and salt in food processor.  Drop in butter pieces.  Blend till coarse cornmeal in texture.  Stop machine and add 2 tablespoons Crisco. Blend.  Slowly dribble in ice water one tablespoon at a time until dough forms.

Remove from bowl. Use the palm of your hand to bring together. Divide in half. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for one hour. Roll out.

Variations:

1. Instead of the butter and Crisco above, use 6 tbsp butter amd 4 tbsp crisco. Butter and shortening make pie crust much easier to roll and shape, and also flakier — lighter in texture and flavor. All butter has great flavor, but it softens in the oven and does not keep that crisp looking fluting. Your pie will bake to a deeper brown using more Crisco and less butter.

2. Add  1 tbsp sugar for a sweet crust.

3. Use 1 tbsp lemon juice instead of water. Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar are often used in crusts instead of 1 T. of cold water. I don’t have a technical explanation of the lemon juice, but I find that it compliments certain pies and completes the flavors. I use it if there is lemon or citrus in the pie itself. The apple cider vinegar is great for apple pies.

SINGLE TART CRUST   (for 10 or 12 inch tart pan)

1.25 cups of flour
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter
2 tbsp Crisco
3-4 tbsp ice water

Follow above method.

 

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MAY: Seared Salmon With Apple Chutney

Ingredients:

4 pieces (6 ounces each ) salmon fillet
1 T olive oil
2 T. sesame seeds
4 T. Purple Chef Apple Chutney

Wash and dry the salmon pieces.
Sprinkle the sesame seeds on to the salmon and press in.

Heat the oil in a skillet that is oven proof. Put the salmon in face/sesame seeds, down. Sear until browned. Flip the salmon and sear the skin.

Remove from the heat. Spread one T. of apple chutney over each piece. Place in a 400 degree oven for 6-8 minutes.

Serve with green lentils and sauteed red cabbage.

Serves 4

 

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JUNE: Avocado and Roasted Corn Guacamole

This has always been one of our favorites.

1 cup fresh corn kernels, stripped from the cob.
1 T. corn oil

Toss the corn with 1 T. oil, place on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven. Roast 7-8 minutes, turning often. Cool in a bowl.

2 large avocados cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 large tomato diced
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh coriander
2 T. minced red onion
1 tsp. pickled or fresh jalapeno
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 cups corn oil

Add all of this to the cooled corn.

Mix the following and add to above.

2 T. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. cider vinegar
1.5 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cumin
2 T. corn oil

Serve with blue corn chips or the lime ones for an added kick.

 

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JULY: Sesame Noodles

This has been one of my favorites for over 25 years.

Ingredients:

3/4 c. Tahini
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cups each: soy sauce, red wine vinegar, vegetable oil

5 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp chili oil
3 tbsp oriental sesame oil divided
Salt

4 packages soba noodles ( 8.8 oz. each )

2 large cucumbers, sliced
radishes , thinly sliced
Sesame seeds

Whisk tahini and water until smooth. Whisk in garlic, sugar, chili oil and 1 T. sesame oil. Season with salt.

Boil noodles in salted water until done. Drain. toss with 2 T. sesame oil.

Toss cooled noodles with 1/2 the dressing. You can refrigerate at this time.

When ready to serve, add more dressing as needed. Place in a low serving bowl. Garnish with sliced cucumbers and radishes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

 

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AUGUST: Eggplant Spread

Ingredients:

4 Japanese Eggplant
2 large gloves of garlic, mashed and minced with salt
1/2 cup of minced cilantro
1/4 cup of minced parsley
Rind and juice of either a lemon or a lime
1-2 tsp. of salt to taste
1 tsp of sugar
2. fresh ground pepper
3. a dash of Spanish Smokey paprika, or anything that will give you a touch of smokiness.

Also, on the eggplant, Puncture with a fork, all over, then cook in the microwave for 10 minutes

Puncture the eggplant all over with a fork, and cook in the microwave for 10 minutes. Cool, slice and dice. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Serve with rice crackers in a bowl garnished with fresh cilantro sprigs.

 

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SEPTEMBER: Asparagus Soup With Lemon Cream And Crabmeat Garnish

Ingredients:

2 lbs of asparagus , chopped ( save ends for stock )
1 large leek, white part plus an inch of the green, chopped and washed thoroughly. ( save the green part for the stock )
6 cups of quick stock or water ( recipe below )
1 and a half T. of olive oil or butter
1 small onion, chopped
salt and fresh pepper to taste
lemon juice to taste, ( 2 tsp. )

Heat the oil in a stock pot. Add the leek and onion and saute until the onion is slightly colored. Add one cup of stock and stew for several minutes. Add the remaining stock and asparagus and simmer , partly covered for 15 minutes. Cool for a short time and then either cuisinart or pass through a food mill to get rid of the fibers. Taste for salt and add lemon juice to taste. Add pepper and salt as needed. Chill the soup.

Stock:

2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 onion peeled and coarsely chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery rib
ends from all of the asparagus
2 bay leaves and several sprigs of fresh thyme
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
8 whole parsley branches or a handful of stems
the leek greens

2 tsp salt
2 quarts of cold water

To prepare the stock. Heat the oil in a stock pot, add the onion, carrot, celery, stir to coat and simmer while you prepare the rest of the vegetables and herbs. Add the rest of the vegetables and herbs, Cover the pot with a sheet of waxed paper and put the lid on. Sweat the vegetables, stirring for about 10 minutes.

Remove the waxed paper, add the salt and water. simmer , uncovered for 25 – 30 minutes. Strain the stock and use in recipe.

Lemon Cream

1/2 cup of whipping cream
1/2 cup of sour cream
fresh lemon rind

Beat 1/2 cup of whipping cream until it holds soft to medium peaks. Fold in 1/2 cup of sour cream. Finely crate the rind of one lemon into the cream mixture. Fold all together

Garnish

1/4 pound fresh crabmeat

Serving Instructions

Ladle the cold soup into low serving bowls. Put the Lemon cream into a piping bag and pipe into each bowl. Sprinkle the soup with fresh crabmeat.

ENJOY!

Makes 6 servings

 

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OCTOBER: Corn Pudding

Ingredients:

10 cups of fresh corn kernels with the milk, stripped from the cob
5 Tblsp of flour
3.5 cups of heavy cream
10 eggs beaten
5 Tblsp sugar
1.25 tsp white pepper
5 tsp salt
dashes of dill and nutmeg to taste

Pulse the corn in a food processor or blender until semi smooth. You can add some of the cream if there is a problem.

Place corn in a large bowl. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients. Transfer to a butter greased lasagna style pan or half sheet pan . Filling should come half way up as it will rise.

Place in a larger baking pan to create a ban marie and pour boiling water half way up the sides. Bake at 325 until set and firm, 45 – 60 minutes depending on your oven.

 

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NOVEMBER: Butternut and Apple Soup

Ingredients:

1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
5 lbs butternut squash
4 large granny smith apples
2 large cortland or romes
4 large onions ( 1 lb approx. )
1 large can of chicken stock ( 4 cups )
4 cups of fresh cider
4 cups of water
Fresh Rosemary, Thyme, winter savory ( this one is optional )
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup of heavy cream, also optional depending on your current diet.

Peel and seed squash and apples. Cut in Chunks. Slice onions.

Melt Butter and oil in stock pot. Add onions and saute until golden. Add squash and apples, stir, cover pot with a sheet of waxed paper and a lid and sweat for 10 minutes on low to medium heat.. Remove waxed paper, add rest of ingredients and cook until tender. Puree until smooth either with an immersion blender or in the cuisinart bowl.

Add cream to taste and serve with Pears With Zinfandel, if desired.

 

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DECEMBER: My Favorite Pound Cake

Ingredients:

3 sticks of butter
3 cups of sugar
5 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 & 1/3 cups cake flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 T. lemon zest
1 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 300. Butter and flour a 10″ tube pan.

Combine the butter and 3 cups of sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer. Beat til light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat well. Add the vanilla

Mix together the flour, baking powder and zest. Add alternately with the buttermilk, scraping the bowl and beating 20 seconds between additions. Then beat one minute.

Put batter into the pan and bake 2 hours or til golden. Remove to cooling rack

For a really lemony cake heat 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice with 1/3 cup of sugar. Cook til sugar is dissolved. Remove cake from pan, pierce with toothpick and brush over surface. Let cool completely.

 

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